Wed, Feb 25, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Activists petition against nuclear-waste reprocessing

By Tang Chia-ling  /  Staff reporter

Anti-nuclear group Mom Loves Taiwan has launched a petition against state-run Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower) call for bids to reprocess about 1,200 bundles of spent fuel rods from the Jinshan and Guosheng nuclear power plants, which Taipower announced on Tuesday last week, one day before Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Taipower has obtained a budget of NT$11.25 billion (US$353 million) to deliver 480 and 720 bundles of spent fuel rods from the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant, in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門), and the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant, in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里), respectively overseas for reprocessing. The reprocessing is to be implemented over four years, with the first batch scheduled to be shipped by the end of this year.

The campaign, dubbed “Help Taiwan & Save The World!! Stop Taipower’s Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Project,” had gathered about 270 signatures as of press time last night. Many signatories are from Japan, where the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant disaster took place in 2011.

The organization hopes to obtain 500,000 signatures and present them to Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) in the hope that the government will block the project.

Mom Loves Taiwan chief executive Yang Shun-mei (楊順美) said shipping highly radioactive nuclear waste overseas to be reprocessed only means that the waste will be shipped back to Taiwan 20 years later.

She said that nuclear waste reprocessing is a dying industry and that the French-based firm Areva, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, is a case in point.

She said that Avera is reportedly the company to which Taipower plans to send its fuel rods for reprocessing. She said the move would salvage the company from insolvency at the cost of polluting the environment, while bolstering nuclear arms production, and above all, no one would responsible for overseeing the reprocessing operations.

Taiwan Environmental Protection Union member Gloria Hsu (徐光蓉) said that Taipower did not inform the public of the actual cost of nuclear-waste reprocessing and that time and again it has requested more funds from the legislature shortly after its budget has been passed.She added that it did this while constructing the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

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